Construction Site Dangers
Transcript: Construction sites often are home to many work-related injuries.
The reason construction sites are dangerous is because there are a lot of people doing a lot of different activities at the same time.
On one work site you may have crane operators and carpenters present, you may have steelworkers on-site as well as concrete workers and electricians and other union trade workers.
You also may have many different companies on site. Typically, there will be one general contractor and several subcontractors. You may have delivery truck drivers present as well. There may be people who come onto a site simply to construct and then remove a scaffolding.
In many cases a general contractor will have a blanket provision in all subcontracts that require all contractors on site to be equally responsible for safety.
Can a general contractor be held liable for a subcontractor who fails to provide a safe workplace? In other words, can a general contractor, by contract, avoid responsibility for overall jobsite safety?
Generally, the answer is no if the safety duty is non-delegable. But there may be a major legal battle to hold the general contractor legally responsible in the event of an injury caused by a subcontractor.
Who is legally liable if a construction site injury occurs due to an equipment failure?
We once dealt with a case where electrical equipment on the site short-circuited and lead to an explosion. Here is a scenario that comes to mind. A worker was using a gas-powered power saw to cut through chain-link fence. The saw threw sparks, and those sparks ignited a fuel can a few feet away that was placed there by another contractor. Who is at fault, the contractor who left the fuel where it might ignite, or the contractor generating the sparks? Or, both?
While the direct employer of an injured party can always apply for workers compensation benefits, the real legal battle will be to sort our which contractors on site contributed to the situation that led to the injury. Usually more than one party is at fault.
Construction work in general is a dangerous line of work. When all the safety protocols are followed all the time the risk of injury can be minimized.
We urge anyone who has experienced or had a family member experience a construction site injury to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who has handled claims of this type successfully to help them recover the compensation they are entitled to when an injury of this type occurs.
If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.